From the Craig/Haddaway Campaign:
Harford County Executive and Maryland Governor candidate David Craig offered to reimburse a Seattle businesswoman who received hundreds of errant phone calls because Maryland Health Connection, the state’s online Obamacare exchange, incorrectly posted her toll-free number as a help line.
As State officials dither over whether to reimburse the owner of Seattle Pottery Supply, health care point man and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown remains silent on the issue after refusing to issue an apology for the troubled state exchange in General Assembly hearings.
“When people make a mess they usually clean it up and apologize, but our elected officials do neither,” said Craig.
As reported in the Baltimore Sun January 18, state health department officials “would consider reimbursing Lunz for long-distance calls from Maryland.” The calls to Sue Lunz’s pottery supply company started in October, and she has been directing Marylanders to the correct number through last weekend.
David Craig sent Lunz a letter yesterday stating that she will be reimbursed for the cost of phone calls. Craig is hopeful it is a small amount since the money would come from his personal account, and in the event it is a large amount a fundraiser will be held.
“As a small business owner myself, I can only imagine the inconvenience this must have caused her,” said Del. Jeannie Haddaway, who is running for Lt. Governor. “The State’s approach to handling this is arrogant, bureaucratic and unacceptable.”
In a separate error, the so-called zip code glitch has been corrected which the Craig campaign discovered on Jan 6. A “local” help feature on the federal exchange directed consumers in 14 states with their own exchange to navigators in other states. In Maryland, for example, entering a Baltimore zip code directed people to Reston, Virginia and York, Pennsylvania.
The glitch was reported on in national media outlets including Daily Caller, Fox News, Hot Air and Maryland media.
Craig and Haddaway have repeatedly called on the state to shift millions of dollars in marketing, outreach and promotional dollars away from the error-prone Maryland Health Connection. Undisclosed millions of dollars are allocated to promoting the troubled Maryland health exchange while virtually nothing is going to informing the public of their options of signing up for coverage with the assistance of insurance brokers or directly through carriers.
“It is a shame that the O’Malley-Brown Administration is just now getting around to considering some of the viable alternatives that we proposed. What will it take and how bad will this have to get before they finally admit that there is a better way to ensure Marylanders have health coverage?” asked Haddaway.
The board overseeing Maryland Health Connection announced yesterday that they will be working with insurance brokers to develop a telephone help line. Craig and Haddaway called on the State to emphasize direct enrollment options with the insurance industry on Jan. 6.